Brad Mehldau piano
Larry Grenadier bass
Jeff Ballard drums
Described by JazzTimes as “one of the most consistently fascinating voices in current jazz,” Brad Mehldau has done more to extend and refine the piano trio’s possibilities than any artist in the last two decades. With two brilliant Northern California-raised compatriots, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, he’s forged a strikingly beautiful group sound distinguished by a flexible approach in which the players continuously trade roles, often eschewing traditional bass and drum solos while elaborating on the form of a song.
Whether playing his own stunning compositions, Thelonious Monk classics, American Songbook standards, or more contemporary tunes by Nick Drake, Radiohead or the Beatles, Mehldau has a gift for long, emotionally arching improvisations. His career has encompassed a truly impressive variety of settings over nearly 30 recordings, from duet work with mezzo-soprano Ann Sofie Von Otter to his recent electronica-drenched Mehliana project with drumming powerhouse Mark Guiliana and a solo recital devoted to the work of J.S. Bach. But wherever his musical travels take him, the pianist always returns to the creative cauldron of the acoustic trio format and a band widely considered to be one the most important, influential units in modern music. For this show series, the band performs a diverse range of material including songs from their new Grammy-nominated album Seymour Reads The Constitution, featuring Mehldau originals, inventive takes on pop gems from Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, and new interpretations of pieces by jazz luminaries Elmo Hope and Sam Rivers.